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Unease As Corruption Claims Rock “Council of Patriots” Over June 7 Financial Report


  16 Juin      2        Politics (8538),

   

 

MONROVIA, June 16 (LINA) – In the face of quarrels over the unceremonious delivery (via internet) of the “Save the State” petition previously meant to be hand-delivered to a senior government official by the group calling itself “Council of Patriots (CoP)”, organizer of the assembly on June 7, another episode which is seemingly scattering the group, has ensued.

In the minds of some folks claiming to be architects of the CoP, but say they have been overshadowed by others, there is an issue about how those trying to domineer in the group carried out the protest that resulted in the non-delivery of the ‘pro-good governance’ document.

The objectionists say if it were for the protest to end in deadlock as it did, it would have been better to have accepted government’s numerous proposals for a dialogue than to « put people in the streets. »

Others say they have been dismayed over what they see as fraudulent, the financial report for the funding raised from donors and sympathizers of CoP that was posted on social media by one of the group’s vocal figures, Henry Costa.

The report continues to receive a barrage of criticisms that it is predominantly flawed and shows implicit mismanagement of the funding galvanized from the online ‘GoFundMe’ fundraiser, as well as the ‘discrepant’ or ‘unrealistic’ cost of items/activities to suit the peaceful assembly.

In the much-criticized financial report, CoP says it raised the totals of US$5,905 through the ‘GoFundMe’ platform, L$36,950 from Mobile Money transfers, and US$5,530 and L$75,000 from donors in Liberia.

But many Facebook users, like J. Louis Harrington, question the total of the amount of money raised via ‘GoFundMe’.

For instance, Harrington insists that the ‘GoFundMe’ platform displayed a US$7,067 while CoP’s report shows a lower figure with an (alleged) discrepancy of US$1,162 unaccounted for.

Harrington and others who expressed doubts about the integrity of CoP’s executives calling for the Weah-led government to stem an alleged flow of public corruption, say the variance in the U.S. dollar component of the money raised means “a clear indication that there’s no transparency” in the dealings of members of the citizen group claiming to be upright.

“We will dig inside this understated income and overstated expenditure report from the CoP,” Isaac Gwenh Kai, Sr. posted.

In the report, CoP says it spent US$550 on sachets of water, US$1,750 on stationery, US$500 to compensate musicians, US$100 on fuel, US$500 for private security services, US$1,650 on flatbed vehicle rental and decoration, US$500 on printing of leaflets, US$1,200 on meetings, US$60 on publicity, and US$60 on communication.

But another vocal breakaway member, Al Hussein Fadiga, who claimed to be one of the ‘brains’ behind the June 7 protest, said in a post that: “Fellows Liberians, the CoP financial report is not truthful. During the meeting held with SUP, EFFL, Urey, and other stakeholders at the ALP headquarters, Costa informed attendees that they spent about US$20k and not US$12k. COP paid L$25k to the four political parties for mobilization but said the amount was not included in the report.

“The COP also gave US$50 to EFFL chief of staff for security and US$300 to SUP for mobilization. Interestingly, the aforementioned fund was not included in the financial report. “

The financial report was released primarily via Facebook… and so goes the cyber rhythm.

Nelson Gaye Wright posted: “And the so-called #save the state protest couldn’t raise US$20,000 this big event shows how disturbing the players were at each other.”

Interestingly, Al Hussein Fadiga, who accused the Henry Costa and others in the forefront of the CoP (in Liberia) of redirecting the [focus] of the June 7 protest, quit the group, claiming that corruption, inconsistency and ‘self-centeredness’ had become the order of the day in the CoP.

Fadiga was, however, dismissed by Costa as insignificant to the purpose of the CoP and should “shut his mouth”, after he described the post-protest financial report as “making GAC (general auditing commission) reports look like the Holy Bible.”

Now, while some Liberians continue to critically x-ray the CoP’s financial report after June 7, the questions of integrity, transparency and accountability incessantly lingers in the minds of many others carrying the adage: ‘He who comes with equity must come with clean hands’.

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